BONIFAY, Fla. (WTVY) -- A Holmes County couple is behind bars facing felony animal cruelty charges after deputies found more than 90 malnourished dogs at their home.
“I've been doing law enforcement for 24 -- going on 25 years and this is the biggest animal abuse case I've seen,” says Holmes County Sheriff John Tate.
When they arrived at the Westville home of Ferrell and Marianne Godfrey, 92 dogs were chained to trees or stuffed in pens.
“You could tell by looking at them what type of condition they were in. They're just not being taken care of like they're supposed to. They don't have adequate food out there. They had water in pools but it was stagnated and had algae. It's green. Some of them were hurt,” says Tate.
People in the neighborhood know the Godfreys as dog collectors and called the couples' home "the dog sanctuary”.
“They'd find dogs that were loose, or people didn't want their dog, or people found lost dogs, they would bring them here because they heard of the sanctuary,” says an anonymous source.
For the dogs, it was anything but that.
“They weren't getting the proper help that they needed, because if they had, that many dogs with health concerns, how were they getting all of the medications,” the anonymous source says.
Sometimes packs of those dogs took to the streets.
"They’ve been known to eat chickens. They've been known to tear up garbage...drag garbage all over the place," says the anonymous source.
Investigators tell us at least one dog was obtained illegally.
“One of them was microchipped and it was actually stolen out of South Florida,” says Tate.
The Alaqua Animal Refuge is checking for more and reuniting families with their pets.
So far 20 dogs have arrived there. The rest will be transported over time.
Investigators also discovered that Marianne Godfrey has animal cruelty charges in Houston County from 2011.
If you think your missing pet could be among these dogs in Holmes County, contact the Alaqua Animal Refuge.
The shelter will be looking for good homes for the unclaimed dogs.